In-Box Review
Farmhouse w/Diorama Base
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by: Charles Reading [ CREADING ]

Another addition to Miniart’s ongoing Diorama Series, the Farmhouse w/Diorama Base is actually a combination of two Miniart products: “European Farm House” (36017) and “Village Diorama Base” (36015). Miniart has designed these two pieces to have the bases match so these kits can be built and go together as one.
As an added incentive, Miniart, in conjunction with Dragon are including a “Bonus” Dragon figure kit.

The kit is packed into a typical sturdy Miniart box with a glossy finish on the front and sides . The box art shows the completed model painted and with foliage. There are several photos on the side showing the piece from different angles. Inside the box there are 163 parts, 33 vacu-form building pieces and 130 injection molded pieces.
The dimensions of the base are 514mm x 207mm (20.23” x 8.15”).

The vacu-formed pieces are all formed in gray styrene. The injection molded sprues (2 large, 1 small) are molded in light grey plastic with the pop-out marks either hidden or on the side of the piece which probably won’t be seen. There is a reasonable amount of flash on the molded pieces although clean-up shouldn’t take too long.
As with all Miniart products you get some generic pieces that can be used or saved in the spares box. This kit is no different, lamp posts, ornate sign hangers, shutters etc. are included and either not used in the quantity included or not used at all.

The Village Diorama Base (36015) has been reviewed by Steve Riley on the site and that review can be seen Here.

The additional piece, European Farm House (36017) fits right on as a continuation of the arched gate. Basically it depicts several small farm type out buildings all coming off from a common stone wall.

This combination creates an interesting diorama base. It is somewhat odd in that it creates a situation for the builder wherein he has an ‘inside’ portion and an ‘outside’ portion on the diorama to ‘fill’. Presumably an AFV can sit on the outside of the farm gate, however you will be somewhat limited as a large tank or vehicle will look awkward as the space isn’t large enough. The large space is inside the arched gate but the presence of a large AFV here begs the question “how did it get there”. The layout of the piece does lend itself to a maintenance type scene where the farmyard is being used to work on a variety of smaller vehicles. Pz 1’s II’s III’s Kubals, Schwims, etc.

The figure kit included as a “Bonus” is the older Panzergrenadiers, Panzer Lehr Division (Normandy 1944) This is not a particularly bad set of figures for their age. It depicts four figures standing with the officer holding a map and pointing. The figures include three sprues of weapons, one presumably came with the original 6002 figure kit and includes weapons that were in place in and around Normandy 1944. A second sprue, marked 6095 includes machine pistols, automatic assault rifles and panzerfausts. The third sprue, marked 6005, from the Cassino Paratroopers has rifles and weapons used by the fallschirmjager.

Innovative design that could be used as two small dioramas or one large. I feel the design/lay out of the piece is a bit awkward as there is a stone wall effectively splitting the diorama in two. Perhaps others will see this as a positive attraction as I’m sure with a little creative thinking applied, someone will be able to make a great diorama using this Miniart kit as a starting point.

Highs: Excellent detail in the buildings and the base. Includes nice injection molded architectural pieces with many ‘extras’. Includes a Dragon figure kit.
Lows: Odd lay out for a diorama. The stone wall/arch gate effectively splits the diorama base in two. Some builders might find this beneficial in designing a diorama around this base, personally I think it will be awkward.
Verdict: This is a very nice model and seemingly good deal as you are actually getting two Miniart kits and a Dragon figure kit.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 36018
  Suggested Retail: $51.59
  PUBLISHED: Apr 04, 2009

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Charles Reading (CReading)

I live in the mountains north of Santa Cruz California. I have been building now since the early 1990's when I rediscovered modeling. Most of my kits are built with dioramas in mind. I took a "creative block" hiatis for a couple years - 2011 to 2013. I wasn't active in the modeling world. During tha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Charles Reading [ CREADING ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the look inside the box Charles. I've been thinking about getting a couple of these MiniArt products, but haven't seen one up close before. Very helpful. Did you notice anything that would lead you to believe it would be challenging to assemble?
APR 04, 2009 - 10:07 AM
Hi Jim, I've actually assembled all the pieces for this kit now and I had no problems whatsoever. My first Miniart kit was a disaster because I attempted to assemble it like one would a vacuform airplane kit with extra guide pieces glued in etc. Since that first attempt I had the benefit of seeing the owner of Miniart demonstrate the assembly method at DragonCon06 and there is now a good SBS guide posted on the Miniart site that is very helpful. I find these kits to be well thought out and 'once you get the hang of assembly' very easy to put together. Cheers, Charles
APR 04, 2009 - 11:32 AM
Thought I'd post some photos of some of the pieces. They have been glued together but I have yet to clean up the seam areas....on some of them you can see where I've used a bit of putty. Seam cleanup is relatively easy with a sanding stick. Along the damaged brick areas present the biggest problem because of the uneven surface but a little filler and a bit of patience and they are done in no time. On to the pictures:
APR 04, 2009 - 02:26 PM
Very nice review Charles.
APR 04, 2009 - 03:34 PM
Thanks for posting the 'in-progress' images, Charles. I have one of these kits and haven't attempted it for fear of screwing it up. Your photos show me more clearly what I'm supposed to end up with......not that mine will end up looking like that anyway
APR 04, 2009 - 04:48 PM
Hi James, The 'trick', as I see it, is to Make sure each piece's mating edge is thoroughly sanded on a flat surface. I usually apply several coats of testors liquid cement to the mating surface to soften it. Then mate the surfaces being careful to align them properly. If enough glue has been applied to soften the plastic, pressing the pieces together should 'squeeze' some melted plastic out along the seam. When dry, if you have some unglued areas, just run some liquid glue in the seam. I highly recommend the tutorial on Miniart's website. Cheers, Charles
APR 04, 2009 - 05:07 PM
Charles, Thanks for the review and the follow-up, which is most useful. Give that probably 99.9% of all dioramas have a clearly defined "front" and "back", personally I quite like the "split diorama" concept of this particular combination kit. It allows scope for displaying the thing from *both* sides: Given that these buildings have all-round detail, you can have separate (but related) action in front of the house on one side, and in front of the farm building on the other. - Steve
APR 04, 2009 - 07:32 PM
Good review of the Kit. I have tried one the Park scene and I like the way it worked out. But instead of Awl I used the back of my # 6 blade to scribe and snap. Good buildings at a decent price.
APR 04, 2009 - 08:58 PM
Hi Steve, See, I knew someone would be able to "see past" where I got hung up on the lay out of this piece. Cheers, Charles
APR 05, 2009 - 03:23 AM

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